NaNoWriMo 2012: Attack of the Plot Amoebas

Almost halfway through the madness of NaNoWriMo – where do I stand?

Well, my chapters keep splitting.

I started with 27 chapter outlines, but a couple of those outlines weren’t covered in one chapter’s text – some of the chapters are longer than the planned for 2k, some some chapters spawn daughter chapters. Some, in point of fact, do both.

The most extreme example is clearly what was originally chapter six and ended up as chapters nine to twelve totalling 11,443 words.

My biggest concern is not reaching the nominal 50,000 word goal of NaNoWriMo – my worry is running out of time to tell the story.

At the end of day 13, I had 31,129 words and 13 of 33 chapters (chapter 13 isn’t really finished, but us say that it is for the sake of argument). Let’s run the numbers on those.

Rate of word generation

As of day 13, I have 31.129 = 2,394 words per day.

If I keep writing at that pace, I will reach 71,820.

The 64 square tracker I made may not be big enough.

Rate of chapter completion

As of day 13, I have 13 chapters = one chapter per day.

If I keep completing chapters at that pace, I will have 30 chapters – which leaves three to complete in December, which I could do but I would rather finish the story in November.

Another way to look at is that I have completed 13/33 chapters = 39.4%, but I have used 13/30 days in November = 43.3%.

So it very much looks like I am going to run off the end of November without finishing the story, even though I should hit the 50k in roughly another eight days at this pace.

The Plan

I have a couple of options here.

  1. keep writing at this pace and just take the time I need to finish the story I want to write
  2. shorten chapters artificially to ensure that I complete the plot arcs in the time, but that will require adding a lot more content on the edit.

Of these, I would prefer to do #1 but that may be too difficult – I would like to maintain this pace out into December, but that seems unlikely.

However, the chapters I have been writing this last few days are all new-ish material, so it is quite possible that future chapters will be less expansive.

Which points to option #3: wait a few more days to make a decision.

So, how are your writing efforts going? Are you running out of story or time?

One Reply to “NaNoWriMo 2012: Attack of the Plot Amoebas”

  1. It’s been going really well. I was averaging over 2K words per day, but last week I was feeling kind of burned out towards the end. I ended up not writing much between Thursday and Tuesday. I had planned to write Tuesday at work, but my back and I had a row and I ended up home (doped up) instead. However, if I keep writing at work the way I did the first 8 days I’ll finish ahead of time

    The big problem seems to be whether or not I have enough material to keep writing. I don’t write in order (though I did for the majority of this story). Despite that I have finished the storyline – beginning, middle, end – minus some scenes in between that I skipped over.

    I’ve also discovered that I have no clue how to write a dinner party. Oops!

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